Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area: A look back, and the view ahead

Image courtesy Eaglecrest Ski Area

Image courtesy Eaglecrest Ski Area

 

Sponsored post on behalf of Eaglecrest Ski Area, located in Juneau, Alaska. 

We’re pretty proud of Eaglecrest. This family-friendly facility located on Douglas Island, a short scenic drive from downtown Juneau, had a successful year teaching kids and adults about the joys of skiing and snowboarding. Jeffra Clough, sales and marketing director AND the director of the snowsports school on the mountain, listed the area’s successes during the 2015/16 season, and given that skiing ended a bit earlier than usual this year, I think the entire community should give themselves a big pat on the back for accomplishing so much for so many people in Southeast Alaska.

After all, it’s not every ski area that dedicates a program to academic achievement and skiing or riding; or designs a way for older tweens and teens to learn safe decision-making on the mountain. And the Learn to Ski Free Weekend introduced many kids to a sport they’d never attempted before. As always, AKontheGO supports businesses, organizations, and individuals who freely offer themselves to the community to help raise up the future stewards of our state. Skiing and a love of the outdoors is a huge part of that. Kudos to the entire Eaglecrest team. You are truly the “Best Nest” around.

A brief synopsis of Eaglecrest accomplishments: 

  • Porcupine Lodge opened! A great asset to the Eaglecrest community, the new lodge has a larger, more efficient rental shop, direct access to the slopes, and an awesome viewing deck so parents and grandparents can watch their little rippers. The Porcupine Den was a huge success for the Wee Ski and Little Rippers programs, mostly because hot chocolate breaks and warm ups were never easier to take.

 

  • EC’s adaptive program area allowed for more accessibility and improved the flow of adaptive lessons, a longtime goal of the snowsports school. The Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month had its 7th season at Eaglecrest, participating in this national effort to get more folks skiing and snowboarding. The area also offered ski and snowboard lessons for the 34th annual Learn to Ski Free Weekend sponsored by Mendenhall Auto Subaru – Lessons, lift tickets, rentals, lunch, transportation and awards were provided.

 

  • The Snowsports School lessons and programs Taught 286 youth (ages 3-15) to ski and ride through multi-week and holiday programs. Students not only developed and improved skiing or snowboarding skills, but the curriculum included safety awareness, knowing and understanding mountain signage, understanding the importance of ski patrol and what they do and a “meet & greet” with a team of Search and Rescue dogs.

 

  • Discover Eaglecrest Day in September brought new families and visitors to the area for an opportunity to explore Eaglecrest and all it has to offer. The day included free lift rides on the Porcupine Chair (this year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2016).

 

  • Eaglecrest’s annual Christmas Eve celebration was all about ornament-decorating, holiday music, torchlight parades and a visit from Santa Claus, who brought gifts for all Holiday Camps.

 

  • The popular 5th grade Passport Program provided all 5th graders in Juneau with a passport to Eaglecrest that included free lift tickets, one free lesson and one free rental. In addition, all 5th grade classes in Juneau Public Schools were eligible for the mid-week school program, paying only for transportation to the mountain. The kids received free lessons, lift tickets, & rentals.

 

  • Reading and snowsports combined for the Books 2 Boards program with the support of the Eaglecrest Foundation. Free skiing, snowboarding, transportation and access to winter clothing was provided for eligible middle school students. Participants were selected based on economic and social need, academic achievement, and school attendance.

 

  • The Hilary Lindh Scholarship program awarded four season pass scholarships to applicants passed on scholastic achievement, financial need, and competitive spirit. These scholarships were awarded in December 2015 and the winners were given a chance to meet and talk to Olympic alpine skier and former Juneau resident Hilary Lindh.

 

AND — summer doesn’t mean Eaglecrest is closed; oh no. Make tracks to the mountain for a hike, mountain bike ride, or zipline adventure. Trails are in good shape, Clough says. And the scenery is completely different from winter.

 

Image courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Image courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Cruising to Alaska? If you have a zipline trip planned, take a few minutes (or hours) to hike around and take note of the effort it took to make Eaglecrest the little ski area that could. It’s a vital part of the Juneau community, and one that we all should support.

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